Finland makes protein out of thin air; the future is weird

Okay, so this is just cotton candy. But you get it.
Okay, so this is just cotton candy. But you get it.
Photo: VacharapongW (iStock)

Were you blown away by the invention of a burger patty made of soy protein? Please. As usual, the Scandinavians are here to make us look like absolute dummies. A Finnish company has out-impossible’d the Impossible Burger with the invention of a protein made from thin air. Yeah. Sit with that one for a second.

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Solar Foods, a company based outside Helsinki, has successfully created a protein called Solein. Solein is made by a series of processes I learned about at age 15 then promptly discarded: water molecules are split in a process called electrolysis. Then, the hydrogen atom and carbon dioxide from the air feed soil bacteria, which produces Solein. So, the biggest power supply they need to make it is electricity. But if they can get it from solar and wind power, researchers say Solein can be grown with almost zero greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the BBC, the protein tastes like nothingand that’s the whole idea. Solar Foods envisions it as a natural additive, or to feed cattle, which would greatly reduce the carbon footprint in agriculture. Mass-market farming is one of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis. So a soy replacement that’s made (I repeat) out of thin air has potential to make a huge difference.

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Solar Foods’ CEO Pasi Vainikka hopes their product can compete with soy as soon as 2025. So marvel at the technological ingenuity of Impossible Burgers while you can. In just a few years, they could seem real quaint.

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DISCUSSION

bammontaylor
Bammon Taylor

So a soy replacement that’s made (I repeat) out of thin air

You keep saying that, and yet...

Then, the hydrogen atom and carbon dioxide from the air feed soil bacteria, which produces Solein.

So not really “out of thin air,” then.